The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
New e-marketing firm ifeelgoods lets e-retailers offer virtual goods and currencies as incentives.
With what it figures will be growing consumer spending on virtual goods and currencies used in online social games, new e-marketing firm ifeelgoods lets e-retailers offer such digital rewards as incentives in marketing promotions.
Ifeelgoods, which launched today, aims to help retailers target the more than 200 million people worldwide who play online social games each month, says Scott Silverman, co-founder and vice president of marketing and former executive director of Shop.org, the online retailing division of the industry trade group National Retail Federation. The company is offering an Internet-hosted application that provides for simple integration between retail web sites and social games, he says, adding that ifeelgoods will soon offer more details about technology set-up and the fees the company will charge retail clients.
Silverman notes that ifeelgoods is basing its plans on industry estimates of $1.6 billion that will be spent this year on popular online games such as Zynga Game Network Inc.’s “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars: Las Vegas.” He notes that FarmVille is particularly popular with adult consumers, who will be able to earn virtual goods and currencies for, say, enough credits to buy a virtual tractor for their virtual farm if they click a promotional offer on a participating retailer’s web site.
Silverman says he sees virtual goods and currencies, including Facebook credits that can be used for more than 100 online games, as a more cost-effective promotional tool for retailers compared with free shipping and price discounts.
Moreover, he adds, the social game incentives target an attractive demographic of consumers. “The average person in the U.S. playing online social games is a 43-year-old woman with children,” he says. “It’s not just teens, as many people think it is.”
On retail sites that offer ifeelgoods promotions, consumers who click into offers for virtual goods or currencies will be able to click to immediately redeem their prizes during the retailer’s checkout process, Silverman says.
Silverman, who resigned from Shop.org last month, co-founded ifeelgoods with CEO Michael Amar, an entrepreneur and investor in the online industry since 1995, when he founded Agorad, a France-based online media agency that he sold in 2007.
Ifeelgoods has received $1.1 million in funding from a group of venture capital firms and individual investors, including Tugboat Ventures, Kima Ventures and Quest Venture Partners; Vincent Worms, co-founder and managing partner, Partech International; Nicolas El Baze, general partner, Partech International; David Scacco, chief revenue officer, eXelate; and Iggy Fanlo, CEO of AdBrite.
Ifeelgoods’ board of advisors includes Fanlo of AdBrite; Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind Inc.; David Marcus, CEO of Zong; David Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance; and Meir Zohar, founder and CEO of eXelate.